Calgary is home to all kinds of urban wildlife – from deer to rabbits to coyotes. In most cases we only catch occasional glimpses. However, with coyote mating season upon us, there have been a number of sightings around the city, particularly in the northwest.
Coyotes play a valuable role in our ecosystem, and we can live safely with them if we take the appropriate steps. The City is asking citizens to help spread the word on how to stay safe around coyotes with these tips:
How can I avoid a negative encounter?
- Don’t approach or feed coyotes. Teach your children not to approach wildlife either.
- Never leave small children unattended.
- Keep dogs on a leash in areas frequented by coyotes, even in off-leash areas.
- Don’t allow cats to roam.
What should I do if a coyote approaches or acts aggressively?
- Do NOT run or turn away.
- Try to scare the animal by shouting and waving your arms overhead.
- Bang sticks or clang pots together towards the animal.
- Maintain eye contact with the animal and back slowly away.
Assess your yard
Remove coyote attractants from your property and encourage friends and neighbours to do the same. Minimizing conflicts with coyotes is most effective when the entire community works together.
- NEVER feed pets outdoors. Store all pet food in secure containers.
- Remove water features like fountains in dry climates.
- Remove bird feeders or clean fallen seed to reduce the presence of small mammals that coyotes like to eat.
- Clean up fallen fruit around trees.
- Don’t put meat or dairy in your backyard composter. Use your green cart instead.
- Clean up food around barbeque grills after each use.
- Secure all trash containers with lids and set them out on the morning of your pick-up day. Periodically clean your bins to reduce residual odours.
- Trim vegetation to reduce hiding places and potential denning sites.
- Restrict access under decks and sheds, around woodpiles, or any other structure that can provide cover or denning sites for coyotes or their prey.
- Enclose property with a six-foot fence to deter coyotes. Ensure that there are no gaps.
Keep watch or accompany your pet in your yard, especially between dusk and dawn.
The City’s role
It’s important to remember that just because a coyote is in the area, doesn’t mean that it is a danger or problem. If you are concerned about an overly bold or aggressive coyote, contact 311. City staff will investigate and determine the appropriate response.
You can learn more at Calgary.ca/parks.